Culture shock

Discussion in 'Culture' started by mistrpavel, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. doll

    doll Member

    A lot of these observations can also hold true for other european countries too. If you're coming from somewhere such as the US, then yes, a lot of these things will shock you. But I feel like most other europeans will not find a lot of these observations odd, but maybe I'm wrong.
  2. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Well food in America is much nicer.. I think it's worth it. I spent two weeks there and I think I ate so much I felt sick about 14 times.
  3. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Your right, beer in McDonalds was a shocker!

    All restrooms are free. Some (very few) stores have a sign “no public restroom”. Restaurants or bars, you are kind of expected to buy something to use the restroom, but not a fast food place. And if you did go into a restaurant or bar and use the restroom without a purchase, no one would say anything to you. They would just look at you funny, but you’d be out the door in seconds anyway so it wouldn’t matter.

    Less in the U.S. Besides big cities like Chicago, most churches and doctor’s offices and many other types of buildings have pull-up areas where one can drop someone off. Pretty much ALL buildings have a parking lot and you don’t have to walk far.

    Yes, unless you are wearing exercise clothing and headphones or pushing a stroller, we will assume you need a ride and most the time offer it. Especially if you are carrying grocery bags. My grocery store is approximately 6 blocks from my home. I've never walked there. Hello, that’s why we have treadmills.

    This is funny because although there is a stricter dress code in CR, I remember one culture shock being that I saw so many people go to the store with dirty hair. Not as many in the cities as in the villages but still. You rarely see someone going out with dirty hair here in the States – unless its that smelly icky family that you know their house is also filthy! I remember my last visit to CR, I found myself counting the # of people out in public with dirty hair. I could get up to 5 or 6 a day! So CR may have a stricter dress code, but US has a stricter bathing code. Most people shower every day.

    Just a note to Alexx – this 20% rule only applies when food is ordered. A coffee shop or a bar where you just get drinks, you simply tip $1 or so each time you get the drink. Therefore, if you order a $4 vodka & cranberry, you are expected to pay $5 – each time you go up to the bar and order it. However, if running a tab – then you are expected to tip about 10% at the end of the night. Our servers do not make minimum wage here in the states. The average waitress may make anywhere between $3 - $6 per hour. The tips are expected to pay most the salary. Also you will find there are a lot of buffets here in the States where the food is laid out and the customer goes up as often as he wants and fixes his own plate. The waitress only removes dirty dishes and brings a soft drink. These places you also only tip 10%.

    Oh yes, I forgot that culture shock – the small vehicles and lack of SUVs. Wow, that was a strange one for me.

    Wrong, I’ve traveled a lot and it’s so amazing when you come back to the airport ready to fly back home (U.S.). All of a sudden you realize that you haven’t seen fat people the whole vacation. Its like – wow, suddenly there is an airport section filled with SEVERAL obese people - Americans going back home.

    Hmm, that’s funny. I didn’t know that would shock people. It’s what they get paid to do.

    No, most Americans do not know this. Why would we know that??? :D

    Where does this happen? In CR? I grew up in Michigan and schools and daycares are fire-arm free areas meaning guns are not allowed. However, gun laws are much better in TX and other states out west. So yes, our children in MI are much less protected from the crazies than our children in TX. :cry: Its amazing how some people think to make it against the law to carry a gun is going to protect people against the crazies that want to walk into a joint and start shooting. If the law abiding citizen has a gun, he can take down the crazy much faster and safe more lives. :idea:

    That’s not because the food is better. Its because the portions are 3 times larger.
  4. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Thanks, useful :)

    Hehe have you seen prices of gas here? Two or three times higher then in states. That is what make our engines small and cars as well. Few weeks ago my friend came back from trip around states, where he rented minivan with 6l engine (1,5 gal.), fuel cons. 17 l/100 (13 mpg), and he was complaining about its power and laziness. Another shock for you - hard to rent a car with automatic shifting.

    I ment here in europe/czechia people would know.

    OK there will be some oddities otherwise - lack of public transport (which made me think people (if not having car) would walk more. Lack of knowledge of foreign languages and most people not having passports.

    There is one think which is making me thinking - why the hell do americans have powerfull large cars, good roads, and such funny low speed limits... 65 mph in CA on highway? What is Corvete good for there?
  5. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    When I was a toddler, we did not even had a water heater and my parents used to heat up the water in a boiler (with wood). Later on they bought a water heater but still - I was brought up like have a bath 1-2times per week, no showers. Also, use of the antiperspirant was not a habit (I think it is getting better now). So yes, I agree that some people might have dirt hair (personally I hate it) and still use perfume instead of antiperspirant (yucky smell).

    And even truck over there have smaller cabs :wink:

    For me (after a few months in the US) it was a shock they did not put my groceries in bags in CR (I got spoiled already).

    So we become civilized too (finaly):twisted:

    Personally I am grateful I know how to cook Czech kitchen; not crazy for American food at all. Well, I can have it here and there, but I
  6. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Alexx, this is not just because the price of gas. I can say I was very good in city driving (Prague, Paris etc.) and in "fighting" for a parking spot but I cannot imagine trying to park my SUV on Venceslav Square - it simply would not fit in a parking spot :cry:. And driving my semi-truck either - with my wheelbase of 230' (almost 6m) I would not be able to make a turn in the city, no possible way.

    No, I still disagree with you; you know English units because you are interested in US but general population does not have a need. But on the other hand they might be more willing to look the conversion up (unlike Americans who simply tell you they do not know what 1m is).

    You mean in the US?

    Go to Texas (I-20/I-10). There is a speed limit 80MPH.
    But I think the speed limit 65MPH is fine. Let's say they would increase the speed limit for cars - than they might have to increase speed limit for trucks too and I cannot imagine drive more than 70MPH in a semi anyways. So I in a truck I would become a slower hazard - like nowadays you have in CR and all those stupid discussions about "banning trucks from passing on highways" might arise here too.
  7. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Will have to print it and carry:)

    Wow, such a reasonable opinion:)
    Sure ČR - our "representatives" forgot to ban it so I gladly enjoy this "privilege" and also one(actualy more) of my teachers is "gun nut" who uses stories from shootingrange even in lessons. Some students from post-democratic states(former W. Europe) seem rather scared.
  8. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    It's too late to fix America, but having guns be illegal works in other countries because the crazies just can't get the guns.
    There are too many guns in America already to just take away the legal ones and expect everything to be fine.

    That’s not because the food is better. Its because the portions are 3 times larger.[/quote]

    Portions are usually too big for me at home in Ireland too. But I would have eaten my own weight in american food.
  9. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Fix what?
    Give me name of one country where banning guns helped. UK is nice example of gun control fail, nazi Germany and socialist Czechoslovakia are the others(the list is bit longer). Now we can carry gun legally to schools, and even 15 year old sport shooter can do. How many problems we had? Not even one.

    sorry for offtopic
  10. mistrpavel

    mistrpavel New Member

    Well, thank you very much! :D
  11. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Fix the number of people who are shot. Make it a low number. 0 for example.
    Banning guns does not work I don't think, although maybe someone will some day figure out a way to have it work.
    Having guns be illegal does work. But it needs to have been from the foundation of the state.
    So yeah, I think, in Ireland, the fact that guns are illegal works perfectly. The fact that police don't carry them work perfectly. I think the entire nation has had one armed robbery in the past 10 years and that was by the IRA. Terrorists and Mafia don't count. . And we have special armed police to deal with them. There's never been a school shooting to my knowledge.
    The fact that guns are illegal at home means that if you are found with one you likely have a direct connection with the IRA which can be sniffed out.

    In Ireland people get stabbed all the time, often when you're stabbed you can go to hospital and get sewn up and go on your merry way. A friend of mine when we were teenagers was stabbed 8 times. Had he been shot 8 times he wouldn't be here to tell the tale (and show the scars)

    I've never seen a gun, I know one lady in the army, she's probably the only Irish person I know who's ever seen a gun. If I've never seen one, law of averages, how likely am I to be shot by one? It's Hitchcock logic.

    You can legally own a shot gun at home, but there are lots and lots and lots and lots of rules, it's amazingly hard to get one, you need to be a farmer, it needs to be a certain type of gun, etc. etc. Having said that a friend of a family member did manage to accidentally kill himself polishing one. So I'm not a big fan of them.
    The idea of using a gun to defend yourself is the most idiotic thing I've ever heard anyway.You carry a gun, you're more likely to get shot.

    Also usually the type of people that go on mad killing sprees with guns or commit filicide don't have criminal records and so in your eyes have every right to own a gun?
  12. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    To original topic, I am tidying up my aparment and I just find this text:

    Překlad z jednoho amerického turistického průvodce

    Česko je nepatrná země, ležící na kontinentu Evropa. Nachází se v prostoru mezi Německem a Ruskem. Kdysi byl tento stát zhruba dvakrát větší, ale v minulém století z něho začaly od východu jednotlivé kusy odpadávat. Je to významný člen světového společenství, i když ne tak významný, jak si myslí. Hraničí s Německem, Rakouskem a pak ještě s jinými státy, které nejsou důležité a kde se špatně nakupuje. Česko je velmi stará země s mnoha poklady jako je Karlův most, Karlovo náměstí, Karlovy Vary a Karlštejn. Na západní civilizaci se podílí pivem a hokejem. I když si o sobě Češi myslí, že jsou moderní národ, téměř nepoužívají klimatizaci a američan tam těžko narazí na slušnou mexickou kuchyni. K neustálému roztrpčení amerických návštěvníků mluví místní obyvatelé česky, i když je tam mnoho lidí, kteří promluví anglicky, jestliže z toho budou něco mít.Nikdy si tam nesmíte přestat dávat pozor na své peníze.

    Lidé - Česko má jen tolik obyvatel jako 3 obvody New Yorku: City, Harlem a Brooklyn. Přesto je strašlivě přelidněné, minimálně každých 7mil tam potkáte vesnici. Z deseti miliónů lidí jich 9,5 miliónu pije nebo kouří. Všichni Češi řídí auta jako šílenci, jsou posedlí sexem a nemají ponětí o disciplíně. Většina věřících Čechů jsou křesťané, i když by jste to podle jejich chování neřekli. V Česku je mnoho komunistů.

    Bezpečnost - Všeobecně se Česko považuje za bezpečnou zemi. Návštěvníci si ale musí být vědomi toho, že čas od času Česko někdo přepadne nebo obsadí (buď Němci nebo Rusové). Češi tradičně kapitulují bez průtahů.

    Historie - Původ Čechů je nejasný. Někteří se považují za Slovany, jiní za potomky Keltů. Pak tam je skupina lidí, kteří mluví úplně jiným jazykem, ale tvrdí o sobě, že jsou Češi. Země také mnohokrát změnila své státní zřízení a jméno. Dnešní Česko si lidé pletou s Čečnou, ale ta je více na východě.

    Nejznámějšími Čechy byli internacionál DubCzech, Koudyš (tenis), Hashek (hokej) a Hejvl (prezident).

    (sorry it is only in czech, maybe some of you would be willing to translate it to english). There is one thing never mentioned yet (underlined)
  13. Lorelai

    Lorelai Member

    The toilets in the US are pretty aggressive compared to the toilets in the Czech Republic. It can be a bit frightening the first time.

    Americans talk in the public bathrooms. I understand that this is not common in Europe.

    Dinner is much earlier and usually we go to bed earlier and get up earlier than in Europe.

    Yes, Dannae, as an American I still find our circumcision custom quite difficult to accept. If it seems shocking to Czechs that Americans would do something so barbaric to babies who have no choice, take heart that some Americans are equally shocked.

    Alexx, I think the western US isn't nearly as fat as the rest of the country. Boulder and Denver, Colorado, have many people who look like triathletes. My healthcare expenses are my athletic equipment. :). There are all sorts of athletic opportunities- local running clubs, hiking and climbing groups,
    skiing trips...
  14. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Thank you - I feel way better now because I fought with my husband for awhile - our son could not be circumcised when he was born for some reason (thanks God) but my husband wanted him to be. But for nearly 4 years I was against it and now he finally surrendered :p . As for me - I believe this should be our son's decision, not ours. It is his body after all.
  15. Petronela

    Petronela Well-Known Member

    Ctyri, I would like to point out that majority of people getting shot are with guns not legally owned. I live in the south where legal gun ownership is huge, yet I can guarantee you majority of legal gun owners never shot anyone.
    Therefore I have to respectfully disagree with you. Making guns illegal does not work. Criminal elements all over the world have guns and telling them they have no permit is like spiting against the wind. As Czech saying goes: “Když chce nekdo psa bít palicu si vždycky najde”. Plus every time you make something illegal you turn it into “forbidden fruits”. Laws forbidding something never really work, educating public on responsibilities which come with any privilege does work.

    Sorry for the de-rail, now back to OP :)
    So how did your report go? Please do tell …….
  16. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    Well it is true that you may not find air conditioners some places (the apartments I have stayed in and some smaller hotels don't), virtually all larger "tourist" places have them and even small stores. I am usually there in the fall or spring - the weather is cool and no need for AC. You can also find decent Mexican food (mentioned right after air conditioners) now, too but who would want to in Prague?

    BTW, Alexx, that is an absolutely horrible tourist guide - is it meant to be a joke? All of the guide books I have read about Czech Republic (and I have read many) are very complimentary and much more accurate.
  17. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    The reading in the first chapter of the workbook of communicative Czech intermediate says that often when Czech couples get married it means one moves into the home of the other and several generations live under one roof.

    No wonder so many people I know prefer not to get married!
  18. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Well, I think that people do not get married from different reasons over there - this is definitely NOT the one thought.

    As for living under one roof with parents, grand parents etc. - I my book it has many advantages. Provided that the house has more separated apartments, there's nothing wrong with it. Parents can get help from kids and the opposite. Personally I cannot imagine my sons might move out from my house - why? One day I might get old and need help - why should I get lets' say caretaker if I have kids to help me? And my kids will need help to watch their kids one day - what is the reason to live separately? Provided I do not intervene they will have their privacy.
  19. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find many Americans who want to live with extended family. I know I wouldn't.

    You are rearing your children in the States right? I'll be surprised if they don't choose to live seperate from you and your husband when they are grown.

    hmmm, that would make sense. But most people have a car. Most teenagers have a car. Unless you live in a large city, its almost impossible to get by without a car. We have a family of 4, two of which are 16 & 17. We have 5 vehicles. Each of us have a vehicle, then theres the family vacation van. We are not rich by any means. My kid's vehicles are old and I wouldn't trust to get me across 3 states, but they work to get the kids back and forth to work, school, & basketball practice. That's just the norm in the states for most families - what varies is the expensive quality of the vehicles, based on family income.
  20. Petronela

    Petronela Well-Known Member

    I’ll add to the “must have a car” point.
    I live in a fairly small town (by local standards), majority of building are single and two levels. No skyscrapers, I think the tallest building in the town is a courthouse, an “impressive” 5 stories. The one and only sidewalk we have here is connecting the courthouse and city jail, so not many people get to use it, or want to :)
    Even through city’s population is a bit under 75000 the city’s footprint itself is lot larger then compared to European cities of identical population size. No public transportation at all, the only busses one can see are school busses and an occasional church bus.
    Owning a car is not a luxury but an absolute necessity. If you don’t own a car you can’t go to work, grocery store, anywhere.
    This is not how all of the U.S. is. There are areas where owning a car is a luxury or a “useful thing to have”. Just not SE Alabama, no car here means you are a prisoner of your own house.

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